I’m going to be away for the next few days, but I put together a few items for the weekend…

The annual BSMW Fall Fund Drive is set to be held November 6-17. We’ve gotten a few good prizes to give away during the drive, and could still use a few more. As a change this year, we’re going to try to give away a prize each day. Those who donate that day will be eligible for the prize. In addition, all donors will be eligible for the grand prize of a Sling Media Slingbox. If you’re interested in promoting your business by donating a prize, please contact me at funddrive@bostonsportsmedia.com

If you’ve listened to sports updates on WBZ radio in recent weeks, you’ve heard them promoting their newly redesigned website heavily. With good reason, it turns out. The highest rated overall radio station in the market has added interviews and blogs to the impressive new WBZ1030.com. There’s a sports page with headlines and interview, but over on the audio page, in the right hand column you can listen to full interviews with local sports figures. These are the interviews that provide material for the next day’s newspapers, but you can listen to the full segments on the same day. Some of the other new additions to the site:

It’s a well done site and another great resource for Boston sports fans.

Up at the top of this page, you see a new search box. It may not remain in that particular location, but will likely stay on the page somewhere. You see, this is no ordinary seach box. This is new Google Custom Search which was a new service released by Google this week. What the service does is allow people to create their own custom search engines. In this case, the search box above only searches the sports sections of a number of New England newspapers and selected sports websites. This allows you to get back better targeted search results from sites that are likely to have the information that you are looking for. For instance, if you were looking for information on agent Brad Blank, but were looking for more Boston-oriented results instead of national ones, then typing “Brad Blank” in the search box will give you local results. Give it a try and if you have suggestions for other sites that should be added to the engine, let me know…

David Scott is out in Vegas on assignment for CSTV, but still manages to file a look at Chris Collins’ engagement and a number of other items.

The Patriots travel to Minnesota for Monday night’s matchup with the Vikings. The game is broadcast by ESPN, but if you don’t have cable, the game will also be broadcast locally on WCVB channel 5.

Be sure to check in with the Patriots Game Day page. We had our weekly Roundtable discussion this morning, and should have another post or two as the weekend goes on. Keep up with all the Patriots news and blog entries on the Patriots News Mashup page.

Check out the coverage from Minnesota on the pages of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Star Tribune also has a Vikings Blog which they update pretty frequently.

This year ESPN has made it their aim to treat each Monday night game as if it were the Super Bowl. This includes starting with SportsCenter Special Edition: Monday Night Kickoff at 3:00pm ET.

Monday Night Countdown starts at 7:00pm and leads into the game at 8:30. The game will be called by the the ESPN broadcast team of Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser, Joe Theismann and sideline reporters Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya.

Wendi Nix – formerly of 7NBC – and Kolber will provide additional reports on the Patriots with Paolantonio and Tafoya covering the Vikings. Other highlights of the 90 minute show:

Soundtracks: Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick’s teams are historically among the best-prepared in the league. In Monday Night Countdown “Soundtracks,” viewers will experience how the three-time Super Bowl champion runs a practice.

Tedy Bruschi Makes a Wish Come True
Last summer, Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi granted a wish for six-year-old Andrew Geracoulis. Born with a heart defect, Geracoulis wished to meet Bruschi, his favorite player. Chris Connelly reports on a wish granted by Bruschi through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (This feature was originally aired as part of SportsCenter’s “My Wish” series)

Ugly Betty Takes On the Pats
Bill Belichick’s gray sweatshirt isn’t exactly the height of fashion. So what happens when the staff of the fictitious Mode Magazine gets a hold of the Patriots coach? The cast of ABC’s hit show Ugly Betty takes on the fashion disaster on NFL sidelines.

Field Pass
Monday Night Countdown gets ready for kickoff with the analysts breaking down the important storylines and key players before the game, focusing on how Chester Taylor has become the second-leading rusher in the NFL, and answering the question about who are these unknown receivers catching Tom Brady’s passes?

This week on Patriots All Access: (WCVB Saturday 8:00pm, Sunday 10:00am)

  • Bill Belichick illustrates why the Minnesota defense has been so strong this season.
  • One-on-one with Asante Samuel, whose play so far has made him a popular candidate as the next Patriot to re-sign with the club.
  • Go inside the CBS production meeting with the Patriots the night before the game to what what goes on in those sessions.

Here’s your NFL coverage maps for the weekend: CBS Game 1, CBS Game 2 and FOX Single Game. (Thanks to gribblenation.net for providing these each week.)

It’s another big weekend for college football. Check the TV broadcast schedule here.

Enjoy the weekend! I won’t be back until late in the day on Monday, but I’ve got a post already lined up for Monday morning.